Black History Month Exhibition Opens

  • Friday, February 1, 2008

    Lest We Forget PicPRINCESS ANNE, MD-"Lest We Forget:  The Triumph Over Slavery Exhibition," opens at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Mosely Gallery in the Arts and Technology Center on February 7, with an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m.  Created by The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and The New York Public Library in conjunction with the UNESCO Slave Route Project, the exhibition is on display through February 28.

    According to Dr. Anke Van Wagenberg, gallery director and art history lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts at UMES, the traveling exhibit features approximately 30 full color panels that reflect the experience of the transatlantic slave trade through topics including the long march, the slave trade, labor and systems, the struggle against slavery and its abolition and the triumph over slavery.

    "The exhibition is unique in that it focuses less on enslaved Africans as victims and more on the ways in which they reshaped their destinies through the creation of distinct cultures," said Van Wagenberg.  "It is more of an historic exhibit, than an art exhibit."

    For nearly 80 years, the Harlem-based Schomburg Center has collected, preserved and provided access to materials documenting and promoting the study of black history and culture.  Notable images captured on the panels of the exhibit include the "Log of the Slave Ship, Lawrence" (1730-1731), recording the hourly record of the transatlantic voyage of the save ship; a "Slave Auction Broadside" (1849), announcing the sale of slaves; a "Slave Shackle" (1780), showing slaves returning from labor in a cotton field; a "Two Dollar Bill," featuring the signature of a former slave who reclaimed ownership of himself; and a "Slave Whip With a Wooden Grip" (1840), advertised and sold to punish slaves. 

    The Black History Month Exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  It is made possible with the support of the Somerset County Arts Council, The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and Delmarva Power.  The exhibit is accompanied by an international website at www.digital.nypl.org/lwf and a book, "Jubilee:  The Emergence of African-American Culture" available at bookstores nationwide.

    For more information on this event or other activities as part of Black History Month at UMES, call 410-651-7580. 

    #### 

    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, gcstephens@umes.edu. 

    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, sstreet@umes.edu.